Professionals, students and entrepreneurs are constantly networking to build their clientele, gain professional experience or develop socially. There are not many rules in networking and the sky is the limit in how a person can excel. The beauty of networking is that it can be tailored to your needs, your profession and your commitment. This type of flexibility makes it very attractive to business people and students. There are several ways of being successful and building on your success while networking. There are tools, tips and techniques which networkers can use to make significant improvements in their relationships and networking strategies for success.
Listed below are certain items that can help networkers make the most of their networking events, meetings and business encounters.
#1 Essential Item: Coffee Card
It might sound silly but a lot of networking involves following up and staying connected. Time is often limited during networking events and people usually find themselves meeting up after the event to conduct business and build relationships. It is typical to meet up for a coffee or lunch for approximately 30 to 60 minutes. Professionals and students who are active networkers can expect to meet up with their business counterparts at least two or three times a week. In this case, purchasing a gift card from coffee shops is a great investment. There are several retail coffee shops located in prime and central locations which will allow flexibility in organizing and conducing meetings. Also, purchasing the cards can be a tax or business write off. It is also great to carry these cards around for unexpected meetings and encounters.
#2 Essential Item: One Dollar Bills
Networking events are conducted in various venues and types of locations. They can range from office meeting rooms, to restaurants, lounges, hotels, conference centers etc. It is always beneficial to carry cash for up front parking and public transportation. Using cash can also reduce your risk of identify theft if you are constantly using your debit or credit card. Having cash on hand is great if you are attending events at restaurants or bars. It is always courteous to tip waiters, waitresses and bartenders as well as valet service.
#3 Essential Item: E-card Membership
Sending out thank you cards periodically, remembering a client's birthday or simply sending a quick note are good ways of staying in contact with your business counterpart. Clients, customers and friends can increase their loyalty when they know that you are sincere and genuine in your efforts. Having an ecard membership allows you to be able to show gratitude and appreciation for your valued business and personal contacts
Chi Chi Okezie is owner/producer of SIMPLEnetworking, LLC in Metro-Atlanta, GA. Newly published author of “SIMPLEnetworking: Creating Opportunities . . . The new form of success!" View excerpts of the book and polish your professional approach: http://www.snseminars.com